Urgent From PETA: Leaving Animals Outside Is a Crime

For Immediate Release:
November 23, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Roanoke Rapids, N.C. – As temperatures are dropping below freezing in the Roanoke Rapids area, PETA is issuing a reminder to bring dogs inside and that it’s illegal to leave animals outside, where they shiver and ache in the cold and can even freeze to death. Animals are especially vulnerable in the winter, and there were at least 28 reported cold weather–related companion animal deaths since 2020. (Most are not reported.) That’s why PETA works with law-enforcement officials in North Carolina to get charges filed against people who illegally leave their animals outside in extreme weather. A glimpse of just some of the dogs PETA’s fieldworkers found suffering in the cold last winter can be seen here.

The following steps can go a long way toward helping animals survive the freezing temperatures coming to your area:

  • Bring them indoors. Companion animals should live indoors with their human families. Dogs left chained up outside—like those featured in Breaking the Chain, the documentary produced by Oscar winner Anjelica Huston—and “outdoor cats” often go without adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. Their water turns to ice, their food turns to mush if left out in the rain, and these animals are no better equipped to survive freezing temperatures or extreme weather conditions than humans They can suffer terribly from frostbite and die of exposure.
  • Animals left outside in the cold need people to help them—otherwise, they could die. Many chained dogs are pit bulls, whose short hair leaves them particularly vulnerable. Please be on the lookout for any dog kept chained or penned outside 24/7 or without adequate shelter from the elements and alert local law-enforcement authorities immediately.
  • Change the law. If your town or county allows the continuous chaining of dogs, work with local officials to get a ban passed—and contact PETA for help.

PETA has released a cold-weather public service announcement. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind